Sunday, January 23, 2011
Today was everything a day should be.
It started out nice and early with a 3 mile run. Our little running group was supposed to go running in my sister's neighborhood this morning, but she had to cancel due to a sinus headache..so, yeah, that part wasn't great. But, we readjusted our plans and ran my neighborhood instead. I really like this run we did today, it isn't my favorite, but it is a very nice run. It goes though nice surburan neighborhoods, but then has a short trek past a horse pasture lined with trees. It is a beautiful little postcard that makes a very mundane run a little bit special. It was a good, slow, nice run today.
After the run it was home to read the paper, eat some raisin bran and just sit for a bit. Then on with more spring cleaning. Today was operation girls' room. Today was the day to cleaqn and declutter their room. If they have less stuff maybe they will be a little better at cleaning up after themselves....I don't know but I made excellent progress on getting their room to an acceptable place. A bunch of Barbies, several babies and a bunch of Littlest Pet Shop went in the "to go" bin. I didn't quite finish, but made excellent progress and will pick back up on Monday to finish the job.
After a couple of hours of sorting and discarding, putting away laundry and other basic household tasks it was finally time for our long awaited picnic!! The day was a beautiful as had been promised. Mid-seventies for the temperature and nothing but sun. We headed up to the park we had chosen for our picnic. The park is located on the top of a hill on the outskirts of town and is quite the little drive. But we finally arrive and everyone is very happy with the park we chose. The kids couldn't believe how big the park was and my son kept saying how quiet and peaceful it was. There were a few other families and groups, but not the crowds we had seen at the city play parks. We had plenty of choices for where to set up our picnic so we picked a spot a good distance away from the bathroom and with some shade.
So, two things before I start posting pics...first, I'm having trouble loading some of the pics...files are too large or some such nonsense. Maybe my husband's camera is a little too good? Second, I apologize in advance if any pics are sideways...lately even if I stand them upright before loading they turn themselves back on their sides while loading. Weird. Hopefully it will work right, if not...sorry, just turn your head sideways and it'll be fine :).
Some of the scenery...
We ate our sandwiches...my daughter wrote our names on our sandwich bags...here is my sandwich...peanut butter and raspberry jam on homemade honey wheat bread...
We had a blast playing a little baseball...a small rock was first base, a slightly larger rock was second, a tree was third and a pine cone was home and none of those pics are loading so just try to imagine it .
The girls rode their bikes and youngest took a tumble, but since she is riding a tricycle and is barely six inches off the ground she took it all in stride and was right back up and trying again in two shakes.
So, this pic, I'm not thrilled about...
My son took the camera and caught me standing on this big rock. But, I am keeping it, it didn't get deleted because I need more pictures like this, pics to remind me where I was. I don't end up in the picture very often, I'm usually taking them so I'm keeping this one even though it clearly shows how much work I have to do.
This is, like, the most perfect rock ever-lol!! It stands about 4 feet or more tall, but has this great slope that lets you climb it without any problems at all. About eight feet in front of this rock there is a much smaller rock. I put the camera on the small rock and we took a family photo...we are going back in different clothes and taking an official version of this photo we love it so much. We will move the little one forward so she isn't in shadow so much. The kids had a BLAST on this rock. For a long time we just sat on the rock and the kids took turns throwing a ball (playground type ball-slightly smaller than a basketball-the kind kids play with all the time) off the rock and seeing where it would roll and how far it would go. There was a small gully a few yards away and we would try to see if we could get it to roll past the gully and up the hill on the other side. This was the funnest game ever and I couldn't believe how long we played it :).
Just me and the husband.
Before long it was time to go home and we all left with the intention of coming back again SOON!
A view of our valley-
A field that was so green and lush I thought we had been transported to Germany or England...this is not typical of our region but an absolutely gorgeous reminder of the rains we had a couple weeks ago-
As we were leaving the park my son mentioned that we didn't even go hiking today and asked if we could come back another day to go hiking. Why, of course!!! It was very gratifying to hear my son ask if we could come back and have more family fun/fitness time together. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, this tiny little voice chimes in from directly behind me. "Mommy, can we go hiking here someday?" The youngest wanted to go hiking too? I was on cloud nine...the kids wanted to do something fun AND healthy!!
As we hit the bottom of the hill and moved back into town and the noises and traffic that go with it my son, who happens to be the wise age of seven, says "It was so peaceful and quiet there that it made me forget all my problems".
I almost laughed, almost. What kinds of problems does a seven year old have? Well, seven year old problems, of course. That doesn't mean they aren't problems. My brain processed this quite quickly and my answer was..."It does make you forget your problems". And, I meant it.
It was one of those magical, golden days that come all to rarely. I had to question why they come so rarely and the answer was that we spend way too much time at home. My kids LOVED getting outside and we did so many different things that were good for our bodies and even better for our souls. I made a resolve to create more of those moments. We all need days that are so peaceful and wonderful that we forget all our problems. Next up, a family hike, I can't wait :).
Friday, January 21, 2011
Hi all!! I'm still around, still working on the plan, etc. :) It's been one of those busy, busy weeks. The weather here in So. Cal has been absolutely gorgeous and I've gotten sucked into Spring Clean/Finish Projects mode-lol!! I finished several sewing projects that have been hanging around half done for more than a month and made some progress on a VERY ameteur quilting project I've been working on. I am in full spring clean mode the last two days. My bedroom has been cleaned top to bottom, including the blinds, now I've moved on to the living and dining rooms. I'm decluttering as I go and several bags of stuff has already been shipped off to Salvation Army. I haven't checked my e-mail for several days. I'll be done with the deep clean soon (it's not a very big house-lol) and be back. I've got TONS of reading to catch up on!!
Tomorrow should be a fun day though and I'll be back to fill you in on how it went. My oldest daughter (6) has been BEGGING for a picnic. We thought we would do it earlier in the week, but I forgot it is still winter (our weather has really felt like spring) and that the days are still short. By the time we finish school and homework and the friend we watch after school goes home it is often already dark. I convinced daughter to wait until Saturday for her picnic and we decided to go to this park that my kids have never been to. It is not a play park but a nature park. It has picnic tables, open spaces for families to play games, hiking trails and biking trails (more mountain biking that what we would do as a family). Daughter is very excited about taking our bikes, the frisbee the ball and our gloves and sandwiches and a jug of Tang on our picnic. Oh and the blanket to sit on. We have to take the blanket to sit on. She is very excited about our storybook picnic...me too :). The weather should still be wonderful....projected temps of 75 degrees and sunny. So, this was just a quick, quick break and now back to work....Happy weekend all!!!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Hello all, hope you are having a great week! So far so good as far as I am concerned. I've gotten in every workout so far and things are going well. Had an awesome run yesterday...speed training...it was hard, but rewarding and felt REALLY good when it was over :)!
So, anyways, lately we have had a nice variety of weather. Cold before the sun comes up, moderate during the day, occasionally some rain and occasionally absolutely frigid weather. It has been kind of nice, but it has pointed out to me an entirely new problem I have... deciding what to wear!!
It used to be that I would get up and put on a t-shirt and the one pair of workout pants I had and add the one pair of shoes worn with generic socks and I'd be good to go. If it was cold I added a sweatshirt or jacket.
It is not like that anymore!! Now it is like this....short sleeve or long sleeve technical shirt or plain old t-shirt? Cropped pants or long pants? Base layer or no? Vest or layered shirts? Visor or beanie or Bondi-band? Gloves or no? Music or not? Dog or not? Child or not? That one sounds funny...my six year old is invited to come on my Monday runs because it is short and simple, the other runs not because they are too long for her (at this point) and too hard to keep an eye on her. So, child or not? Generic socks or running specific socks and if running specific which ones?
When did I become the person that has sport specific gear?!! I've never been that person before...never in my life have I found the need to have so much stuff for one sport. I think the only sport specific item I ever owned growing up was a baseball glove! Now I have a variety of items all running/outdoor sport specific!!
I guess this is what happens when you find a "sport" you enjoy and enjoy doing often. It started out simply enough. I needed shoes first, but started with ones from the sporting goods store and they were good enough for awhile. Then I needed something to keep the sun out of my eyes during daylight runs. I picked up my visor on a whim while in the sporting goods store getting something baseball-ish for my son...if I remember correctly I was buying his glove and they were right next to the hats :). Then the socks and when they made such a huge difference in my comfort I got additional pairs until I had a couple of favorites and a couple of back-ups as well as the "nothing else is clean, I'll wear these" socks. Then for Christmas last year (2009) my husband bought me my vest, that and a long sleeve shirt or a fleece jacket has replaced the need for sweatshirts, which just left me cold once they were all sweaty and yucky...the vest is SO MUCH better. Then the shirts...when I started going more than two or three miles in one run I discovered chaffing and technical shirts don't chafe, now I have two short sleeve, two long sleeve, plus a long sleeve and a short sleeve base layer shirt. Base layer shirts for a tiny bit of extra warmth on cold days, they go under a regular shirt, but can be worn by themselves if it gets too warm and a layer has to come off...generally they are thinner than regular shirts and tighter fitting. All technical shirts wick, or move sweat away from your body and help it evaporate more quickly so that you aren't running in dripping wet clothes. T-shirts don't wick.
Last year, during cold runs, I "made do" with a knit beanie and knit gloves. They don't wick. Most often the gloves came off before a run was over because as they got sweaty they stopped keeping me warm AND the combination of sweat and yarn made my wrists itch...very annoying...annoying enough to take away from the enjoyment of the run. Similar problem with the knit beanie. It would get sweaty and cold and heavy and it would make my hair wet and yucky and yeah, just not the best situation. So this year I upgraded to a technical beanie and technical gloves. They wick away that sweat and I stay nice and warm and enjoy the cold runs that much more. Plus my gloves have softy fleece thumbs for wiping :). I have to say I LOVE my softy fleece thumbs. When sweat starts to trickle down my brow a quick swipe with my softy fleece thumb and I'm good to keep going. And, this is kind of disgusting, but if you are a runner you know that this is true, when you run, sometimes it makes your nose run, especially if it is cold out. The soft thumbs feel nice against a runny nose, no nose chaffing :)!
So, now that I am "that" person...the one with lots of choices...I am faced with an almost daily dilema...what to wear?! Is it cold enough for base layer, top layer AND vest? And if it's not that cold then which combo do I use? Base and top layer? Or do I go with a shirt and the vest? Is the sun going to come up while we are out? Do I want the beanie or the visor? Is it cold enough for gloves? What if I wear a technical shirt and a t-shirt over it...this combo works well on cool, not cold days when I am running shorter distances. Is it a short run? Will any old sock work well or should I pick one of my special socks? (Love that..."special socks", since when did socks deserve to be "special"-lol!) Do I need to take water or other fuel?
I love all my gear, but sometimes, and only occasionally, I do feel a sense of nostalgia for the "good old days". Those days when all I had to do was pull something resembling clothes from my drawers and put on the shoes I bought at Target and stumble out the door. But, then I choose just the right combo and have an awesome run and am so thankful for the modern technology that makes it possible for me to go running in any type of weather and remain comfy, hydrated and fueled. Modern life...it's a wonderful thing :)!
Which reminds me...I'm having a bit of a rant today....I live in a wonderful town and most of the time I am grateful to live where I do...but other times my town manages to frustrate me to no end!! My city has grown loads the last ten or fifteen years (I've lived here for thirty years) and has really changed from "town" to "city", but that "small town" mentality is still quite prominent in a lot of ways. Today, in our paper, in two different places, a local run was announced. A mud run to be exact. This race is so local that we could run to it if that were our desire. So, the announcement is made, giving the name of the run...Jurassic Classic Mud Run, the date...May 14th (perfect, that's a Saturday) and the location (very near where we do our hill repeats), but nothing else!! No registration info, no fee info, no website!! All they list is a phone number...so I do what any rational person would do and perform an internet search first-lol!! When that fails to provide any additonal info I break down and call the number and get a live person (really? Since when do live people answer phones? Especially ones listed as info sources?). Unfortunately live person, Lisa, cannot give me the info I desire...cost and is there a website...she promises to call back...two hours later still no call. I mean REALLY, how am I supposed to help them if I can't sign up and if I can't send other people to their website so they can sign up too!?? Only in Hemet would they announce a race before getting a website up and running-lol!!! Oh well, guess I just have to be patient :). Maybe my next question needs to be "how do I volunteer to be on the committee that plans races"? Evidently they need a little help over there...they also announced a Bunny hop at a great price...$10 for a 5K, but their ad says "5K/Walk". Exactly that....so now I'm also confused about this event...I am expecting a bare bones event at $10 and that is fine, but is is walkers only? Are runners welcome at this event? Are there age group awards? Free t-shirts to the first 75 to register, but can you buy a shirt if you are number 76? Answers people!! I need answers and STAT!!! :) I suppose answers will come in time...must work on that patience thing!!
Hope everyone is having a great week...Happy over the hump day!!
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Where to begin? The present, or the past? Hmmmm....
The past...why not....Way last year (hehe) we ran a Hemet Sparked Running Club 5K on New Year's Eve. We revisited the route that my sister and I had done on Thanksgiving and oddly enough it was just as cold as that previous run! Here in Sunny Southern California our winters are generally mild and temperate, but waaaaay back in November we had a cold snap, a VERY cold snap, cold we are generally not accoustomed to. That run was a frigid run in a wintry, frosty wonderland that we don't often see. Well, the week of New Year's we had cool and rainy weather, but the rain was from the West, a condition we call Pineapple Express. A storm that blows in off the currents from the Hawaiian Islands. It can bring a lot of rain, but it is generally accompanied by slightly warmer than normal temps. Meaning lots of rain, but little frost and a higher than average snow line in the mountains. So, all week I am thinking, "hey, this storm is going to come to an end just in time for our New Year's run and it will be a much warmer run than last time." I could not have been more wrong-lol!! Two days before New Year's a wind blows in over night. This wind hadn't even been forcast as far as I had seen, and I'd been checking because I wanted good weather for the run!! Anyways, overnight the wind starts to blow and this thing is STRONG, my entire house was shaking at times, doors rattling and window blinds banging (I leave our bedroom window cracked all year (for the most part) for fresh air). In the morning our temps had dropped SIGNIFICANTLY and gone are the warm temps brought by the Pineapple Express, now we are back to FRIGID cold temps. That wind brought in some mighty cold air from the east. So Dec 31st we get up to more cold, cold, cold weather. We get to our site and while waiting to meet up with the rest of the club we are blessed with this GORGEOUS sunrise.
So, we do our warm-up and off we go....first the out and back trail....
That's Kristen (aka 4everadonegirl) looking all sleek and runnerish :)
After that another run down a long sidewalk until we get to the lake, then aaaaallllll the way around the lake to the finish line. Mostly our spectators were mud hens :). Although we did encounter a few others brave enough to go out in the cold and get in some exercise before the festivities began later that night :).
My mom crossing the "finish line".
It was a great way to "ring in the New Year"!!
So, now fast forward a week to today and it was back to the beast. Which we haven't run at since the end of the summer. Half Marathon training took us away from the beast, but today we went back. Unfortunately, the beast did not magically get easier during our absence :). I didn't take any pictures today...let's see if I can dig up an old pic of the beast...
These were all taken back in August when it was a lot warmer, we were dressed a bit differently today. Same hill though.
I did only six repeats today. I was going to do only five, but decided to do one more just to make sure I challenged myself. I am happy with six considering we haven't been to that hill since September and I am still getting over my cold (much better today, but still sub-par). It was a fun run again today. I must be somewhat masochistic considering I actually enjoy hill repeats :). I am already feeling a bit sore though...ought to be interesting tomorrow...lol! So, a great end to a really good week, starting the year off right!!
Next week, the full return of project FFIT (this week was just easing back into things). Happy Saturday everyone, hope it was/is a good one :).
Friday, January 07, 2011
Can you believe it is already Friday??!! We have already almost made it through the first full week of the new year! Can't believe how time flies, it is truly amazing.
This has been a great first week and I am off to a good start on my plan for the year! Hence the "tie it all up in a neat little package part".
I set my general goals for the year and my specific goals for January, then I adjusted them once when I found Jillian Michael's "No More Trouble Zones" DVD would suffice as my cross AND strength training, at least for the month of January. I will evaluate in February whether to continue that plan for one more month or try something new.
I found my word for the year "BELIEVE". I am in love with that word, the only draw back, and I'm sure I'll get over it is that every time I think of my word I think of Polar Express-lol! Oh well, I'm sure I'll get over it, or make it a part of the theme. I already mentioned making a bell my totem (a word a friend used that I love) for the year. I kind of like it as a visual reminder and it really works as a part of my theme...in the book/movie Santa's bells only ring for those that believe. This whole plan will only work when I believe in my ability to succeed. Yeah, a bell works really well as a totem for the year.
I found my theme for the year "The Chase is On". Whatch out numbers on the scale, watch out goals, watch out Jillian, watch out 12 minute mile (and faster) I'm chasing you all down!! Time to make those numbers move. Time to complete some goals and check them off once and for all. Time to stop being intimidated by Jillian Michaels (already mentioned the video-I only did less than half and it left me quivering on the floor). I'm going to take down that video and get to where I can do it! I am going to get faster this year. No more 17 min. miles...that is NOT runnng...that is walking fast, not even walking REALLY fast. In last year's 10K I got beat by walkers, not this year, oh no, I WILL NOT BE LAST at that race again this year!! I went into that race very naive, this year I know more and I know what I need to do and I'm going to do it and not come in last at that race again...at the very least I will beat the walkers!!
This week I've exercised every day despite being sick all with crud in my head. Proved to myself that the excuses can and need to be busted. Then to wrap it all up in a neat and tidy package the bow was provided by a blog I read this morning and a comment left on said blog. The blog and comment both come from two of my favorite Sparkers (there are only about 20 of you on that list by the way-I have a lot of fave sparkers...there are a lot of you that are so inspirational to me and supportive).
Karvy09's blog on Honesty (find it here... www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal.asp?id=KARVY09 ) is really good (as always). It puts the bow on the package because everything I talked about above only works if I am also honest with myself. Honest in how much I am exercising, honest in how much effort I put forth and honest in what I am putting into my body. Confession...on Wednesday my hubs made really yummy banana bread and I ate WAAAAAY too much.
Then Notabouttheface's comment...Just because you don't look at the number doesn't make it any less true. Look the number in the eye and say "never again" and move on!
I weighed on Wednesday, which coincidently coincided with the start of TOM (uggh) and didn't like what I saw...a gain of 7 pounds from the week after Christmas. I came to reset my ticker, but life got in the way and then I never really got back to it. Partly because if I "keep forgetting" then maybe I don't have to reset it. But I am looking 275 in the eye and saying NEVER AGAIN. Hear me 275, you are DONE!! DONE, DONE, DONE!! Bye, bye! And yes, I weighed during TOM, I think that weighing during is important too, besides if I'm lucky, due to TOM, I'll show a bigger than expected drop the next time I weigh..yeah, maybe not, we'll see.
So, week 1 is all tied up nice and pretty, it was a good week. I still have to work out today. Time to face Jillian again, but since the video lets you choose circuits I've broken them into two or three circuit sessions, to be completed over the course of the week. When they get easier I'll start combining them in different combinations of three or four circuits until I can do the entire video in one session. Tomorrow is a running day, hill repeats, part of that training for the 10K (in June) so that I don't come in last again. Then Sunday is a day of rest and then time to start again :). So, right this minute I am going and getting my tape measure and doing some measuring, part of what held me up from saving my weight change on Wednesday, so that I can reset my numbers to their current state so that from this point forward they will just move in the one direction. Plus it'll help me see just how effective Jillian and my running are helping me reach my goals. How do I know if something is working or not if there are no numbers to crunch-lol!! Then, exercise time, then time to clean house so that it will pretty for my kids to mess up over the weekend-lol!
Oh, fun stuff tomorrow!! Both my girls like getting into my make-up, etc. so we got some cheap-o fun stuff on clearance at Target for them to play with. So older daughter is looking at other stuff I have and wants to do her nails and curl her hair and do some fun stuff so we agreed tomorrow is "Girlie Spa Day" here at home. The boys are just going to have to cope while my girls and I give ourselves facial masks (like their 6 y.o and 4 y.o. skin needs it-but hey), give ourselves mani/pedis and curl our hair. So, it'll be a fun end to a great week. Hope everyone else had a great week too and will have a great day tomorrow :). I'll be back to do a Saturday running report and maybe include the pics and wrap-up from the virtual 5K last week that I never posted :). Happy Friday all!!
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